Santa Rosa is the largest city in Sonoma County, California, and fifth largest in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
The area surrounding Santa Rosa is beautiful, but the people that live in Santa Rosa often say that the city itself is poorly designed.
The weather, however, is amazing and the food scene is great.
It’s comfortably laid back, the people are approachable, and it has a small town feel.
Now, as for the standard, the cost of housing is ridiculously expensive, even for a Californian city.
The best thing about Santa Rosa is easily the food. A lot of the good Californian or Mediterranean places are expensive, but if you like Mexican, you can get some of the best in the Bay Area that are super cheap and sell late into the night. Good restaurants with exclusive and expensive meals are also yours for the taking.
Food/groceries are less expensive than eating out, especially if you buy a lot of fresh produce. There are farmers markets all over the place, and while they are not always a bargain, sometimes they are. Then there’s Trader Joe’s, which is a great deal for almost everything: wine, nuts, cheese, milk, butter, all dairy, frozen foods, pasta, packaged foods, etc.
Being largely suburban, a car remains the most common method of getting around Santa Rosa and the suburbs surrounding it. There is the Santa Rosa CityBus, but they are slow, badly organized and don’t cover all areas of the city. Bicycling in Santa Rosa is always an option and the downtown core is easily walkable as well, so you can really save a lot of money on transport.
Utilities vary but you can calculate a rough 170$ per month which include paying for trash, water and sewer. There are other costs such as apartment insurance and others. Still, don’t forget that the price of utilities does depend on the amount of electricity you use and on the size of your apartment. Internet service starts somewhere around 66$ a month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Santa Rosa offers lots of outdoor things to do: it boasts many wineries, camping, lakes, hiking in Annadel, mountain biking etc. so, if you want, you can exercise and save a lot of money. A gym or a fitness club membership will cost you around 63$ which is pretty expensive. A cinema ticket will cost you a whopping 12$ per seat.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Coddingtown s a very well known shopping mall in Santa Rosa. This over 40-year-old mall features Macy’s, JC Penny, Gottschalks, Old Navy and over 100 other stores. When it comes to prices, quality jeans will cost you around 46$, and you won’t find any good running sneakers without cashing out over 80$.
RENT PER MONTH
Renting an apartment is very expensive in Santa Rosa, the prices of rent probably exceeded only by several other cities in America. A one-bedroom apartment in the city will cost you well over 1600$, but you could also get a fantastic apartment for 3000$, with three bedrooms, two-bathrooms, kitchen and a living room if you’re looking for a bigger one, for the whole family.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Santa Rosa, CA
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$18.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$6.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.67||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$1.27|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$4.30|
|Eggs (12)||$3.92||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$2.00|
|Gasoline||$0.96||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$171.11|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$66.43||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$63.60|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$55.00|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$12.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$46.61|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$39.33|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$83.06||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1685.67|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1568.18|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2716.67|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Santa Rosa, CA?
Not surprisingly at all, for a popular city in California where rent is through the roof, the biggest expense of living in Santa Rosa is rent.
Rent takes up a huge part of one’s entire income, which just goes to show how expensive rent is in this city and in California as a whole.
Food is definitely the next biggest expense for anyone living in Santa Rosa – though this is the situation in most countries around the world.
Utilities and sports are almost the same, while clothing takes the least amount of money from the people of Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa, CA: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
The big issue in Santa Rosa’s economy is the fact that the job market here is pretty week.
With huge rent prices, it’s difficult to save money, and even more difficult to purchase a home without having an income of over $100k.
Average monthly salary in Santa Rosa is around 3600$, while minimum wage is well over 2500$.
Still, even with the slow job market here, people are finding ways to make enough money for a very pleasant life in this gorgeous Californian city.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.